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July 13, 2014 | by  | in News |
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New Zealand Students Turning Up the Degrees

New Zealand students completed a record number of undergraduate degrees in 2013, alongside high rates of postgraduate study.

In 2013, 25,800 domestic students completed bachelor’s degrees – 400 more than in 2012, and a 24 per cent increase on the number graduating with undergraduate degrees in 2008.

Māori and Pasifika achievement has also improved. The number of Māori students completing bachelor’s degrees has increased by 62 per cent since 2008, from 1960 to 3180. The number of Pasifika students completing bachelor’s degrees has increased from 980 in 2008 to 1530 in 2013, a 56 per cent increase.

Minister for Tertiary Education Steven Joyce said that the trend “reflects the emphasis we are placing on students achieving qualifications at higher levels [which] provide them with a stronger financial return on their study.”

“Having more people achieving tertiary qualifications means a more highly skilled labour market. Higher skills mean higher-paying jobs for all New Zealanders and their families.”

VUWSA President Sonya Clark said she was “not convinced study is more affordable for students when only six per cent of first-year students are from decile 1–3 schools.”

“I think that a tertiary education can be an incredibly transformative experience, and it is a good thing. But degree inflation is becoming a real problem – when students enter a three-year degree and are unable to get jobs related to the skills they have learnt from their study, students quite rightfully question the cost of that degree,” Clark said.

 

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